Former USC and Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich will serve three years of formal probation on misdemeanor charges stemming from his August arrest in Irvine, where police said he was found nude and carrying drugs in a residential backyard.
Marinovich was also sentenced to 90 days in jail, but he will not have to serve that time behind bars if he successfully completes a six-month drug rehabilitation treatment program, according to court records. Prosecutors dropped an infraction for marijuana possession when the defendant pleaded guilty Tuesday.
Marinovich, 47, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each of public nudity, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, public attempted aggravated trespass of a residence and trespass with interference of property rights. He accepted a plea deal offer from Orange County Superior Court Judge Carlton P. Biggs.
A message left with his attorney, Adam Cole, was not immediately returned.
Marinovich, who has a history of narcotics-related arrests, could have faced a maximum three-year jail sentence if convicted at trial of the drug and trespassing charges, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Shortly after he was charged, Marinovich checked into a drug rehabilitation facility, his attorney previously said in court.
Irvine police were called about 9 p.m. on Aug. 19 regarding a “naked person seen on a trail,” according to Cmdr. Mike Hallinan. Officers were sent to Venta Spur Trail to investigate and, while looking for the suspect, “heard noises from a backyard off of Bluecoat,” he said.
Prosecutors and police said that Marinovich, sans clothes, trespassed into the backyard of the home on Bluecoat, whose residents do not know him, and tried to open the sliding back door to get inside.
Marinovich left a brown bag containing meth, marijuana, syringes, a marijuana pipe and his wallet and driver’s license on the nearby trail on the same day.
Marinovich’s legal woes owing to drugs date back to January 1991, when he was arrested while at USC. He entered a drug-counseling program and eventually the charges were dropped.
Marinovich left USC after two years and was drafted in the first round by the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1991. He ascended to starter by the end of his first season and started his next, only to get released before the 1993 season.
Marinovich has acknowledged in the past that his drug use contributed to the failure of his NFL career. He had subsequent stints with the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the British Columbia Lions in the 1990s.
In 1997, he did three months in jail for cultivating marijuana in his home. He was arrested for heroin possession in 2001 and was on probation for that arrest when he was busted again in 2005.
Marinovich pleaded guilty in October 2007 to felony possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and misdemeanor syringe possession and resisting arrest.
Marinovich grew up on the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach and set local and national high school passing records while leading his team at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo.
—City News Service